This is a stunning Derby figure of a recumbent ram made between 1759 and 1769. The figure is one half of a set; originally it had a female companion. The item has three patch marks.

 

The Derby Porcelain factory has its roots in the late 1740s, when André Planché, a Walloon Huguenot refugee, started making simple porcelain toys shaped like animals. Local entrepeneur William Duysbury took an interest in his skills and worked with him to improve the quality of his wonderfully shaped items. Together they laid the foundations of what would become a very refined tradition of figure making at Derby. In 1769 Duysbury bought up the bankrupted Chelsea factory, incorporating their reputation for high quality figures and tableware; this combination of traditions, porcelain making skills, sophisticated clients and available work people created one of the best porcelain factories of the 18th and 19th Centuries, which after many ups and downs is still operative today.

 

Derby started making this figure (and its companion) in about 1759. The ram is recumbent and looking slightly backwards, and it is famous for the beautiful melancholic expression on its face. The figure has a simple base without scrolls and just some small encrusted flowers.

 

These figures were used to adorn the dinner table when dessert was served; groups of figures served to express something about the host, the guests, or to direct the conversation. One popular topic was an array of romantic rural characters and farm animals.

 

The figure has three stilt marks from firing but no further marking.

 

This figure is known under number E84 and an image can be seen in Peter Bradshaw's "Derby Porcelain Figures 1750-1848" in plate 106, page 121.

 

CONDITION REPORT: The figure is in good condition although it has a repair to the bent front leg and the area below it, as is visible in the pictures. The encrusted flowers have some losses. One of the horns has been repaired and touched up, but this is not visible with the naked eye. The ram still looks beautiful particularly from the front, where the repaired area is not visible.

 

Antique British porcelain is never perfect. Kilns were fired on coal in the 1800s, and this meant that china from that period can have some firing specks from flying particles. British makers were also known for their experimentation, and sometimes this resulted in technically imperfect results. Due to the shrinkage in the kiln, items can have small firing lines or develop crazing over time, which should not be seen as damage but as an imperfection of the maker's recipes, probably unknown at the time of making. Items have often been used for many years and can have normal signs of wear, and gilt can have signs of slight disintegration even if never handled. I will reflect any damage, repairs, obvious stress marks, crazing or heavy wear in the item description but some minor scratches, nicks, stains and gilt disintegration can be normal for vintage items and need to be taken into account.

 

There is widespread confusion on the internet about the difference between chips and nicks, or hairlines and cracks. I will reflect any damage as truthfully as I can, i.e. a nick is a tiny bit of damage smaller than 1mm and a chip is something you can easily see with the eye; a glazing line is a break in the glazing only; hairline is extremely tight and/or superficial and not picked up by the finger; and a crack is obvious both to the eye and the finger.

 

DIMENSIONS: 12cm (4.75") wide, 6.5cm (2.5") high.

 

SHIPPING I ship worldwide from the UK. I am happy to combine shipping charges on multiple items - please contact me to discuss. In principle I do not make a profit on shipping although for simplicity's sake I charge flat shipping fees. If the fee charged greatly exceeds the actual cost I will gladly refund you the difference - at the same time if it is slightly lower I will gladly make up the difference. Please note that due to the pandemic shipping costs have generally gone up steeply, and although I use only the most reliable couriers, there can sometimes be some delays.

Derby Figure of recumbent ram, 1759-1769

SKU: A-DER35
£575Price
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Covid-19 - we are open for business! 

We can ship normally to most destinations, but some are currently closed.

For the time being we have had to raise shipping prices as shippers are now charging more.

As we are living under lock down and can't always reach our stock, lead times will be a little longer than usual.

For now, please bear with us as we do our best to get your parcels to you as quickly as we can! 

If needed we are happy to hold your parcel for you until the end of the pandemic.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss and thank you for your business - it is a vital support for our business! 🙏

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copyright on all images and text

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